Prince Ozzy and the Disappearing Thumb Drive


In Response to today’s Daily Post

Hey blog world! We all know the age old excuse “My dog ate my homework!” Well, I once had to tell my teacher a slightly different (and completely truthful, this was no excuse!) alteration of that, the “millennial version” if you will. “My cat stole my thumb drive!” Here is what happened.

During my last year of high school, I took writing as an elective. I love blogging and writing books so I thought that taking a writing course would be a great way not only to practice my skills, but to improve on them even more and learn a few new things along the way!

One of the units in that course was short stories. We learned about character development, conflict, and lots of other things. The final assignment of that unit was of course to write a short story! I spent several weeks brainstorming ideas and writing and re-writing my rough draft and final copy of the story. Here is an abridged version of what I came up with. I called the story “Mormon Fever”.

Atlantic Light Theatre had selected “The Book Of Mormon” as their next production at the Arts and Culture Center. After months and months of hard work conducting auditions, holding rehearsals, finding costumes, building sets, etc. the time had finally come to put on the show! Unfortunately, on opening day, the lead actor, Jeremy Wells came down with a terrible fever and was unable to perform. Very disappointed, as this was his dream role, he called Jacinta Mackey-Graham, the co-director of Atlantic Light to break the news to her.

She and her partner Doug Vaughan were not terribly discouraged at first. Situations like this are what understudies are for! Unfortunately, the understudy, Evan Smith was also unable to go on! He was needed at Spirit of Newfoundland because Bill Brennan, the pianist that was scheduled to play at Spirit that night was at the Health Sciences Center in a full body cast! At a recent performance of “Jesus Christ Superstar” he had been crushed by an audience member who fell into the orchestra pit and landed directly on top of him! Still hopeful that they might find someone else, Jacinta and Doug called every other male actor in St. John’s that they could think of, Peter Halley, Justin Nurse, Keith Power, etc. none of which were able to perform for one reason or another!

Unable to do “Book Of Mormon” without an Elder Price, Jacinta and Doug sadly made the decision to call off the show. They both headed to the Arts and Culture Center to let the cast and the box office staff know the awful news. As Jacinta made her way to the rehearsal room, she heard a voice singing “I Believe“. It was like nothing she had ever heard before, so breathtaking and captivating! She turned the corner and found that it was the Arts and Culture Center’s elderly janitor who possessed that golden voice. Jacinta begged him to do the show, which he happily agreed to! Everyone was happy that the show would go on after all and the audience absolutely loved it!

Due to my Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum (I was born without the wide band of fibres that connects the left and right sides of my brain), my fine motor skills aren’t the best and thus my penmanship is similar to a toddler’s! Because of my messy, chicken scratch penmanship, all through school I’d used a laptop to write my notes and complete assignments. In High School, I was given a thumb drive so that I could save my assignments, notes, etc. on that and take it home with me instead of having to email my notes and things to myself.

On the day that the short story assignment was due, I took my thumb drive off my desk, where I always kept it, and walked out to the kitchen, where my backpack was waiting so I could put it in the front pouch. When I got to the kitchen, nature suddenly called, so I put my thumb drive on the buffet and went to the washroom. When I returned, the thumb drive had disappeared!!! I was in full on panic mode now! That thumb drive contained not only the notes for all my courses, but my short story that was due that day!!! I looked everywhere for it, under the buffet, under the fridge, everywhere I could think of, but it was not there! I asked mom if she knew where it was and she said she had no idea. Prince Ozzy (my black cat who loves to play with bottle caps, buttons and any other small items he can find around the house) more than likely went off with it somewhere! I was not happy with Prince Ozzy, nor was I happy with myself. I shouldn’t have left the thumb drive on the buffet for him to find, knock down and play with.

Writing was my favorite subject in High School, I always looked forward to that class, but on that particular day, I dreaded having to go to writing! As soon as the first bell rang, signaling all the students to go to their first period class, I solemnly walked into the the room. When the teacher asked us for our assignments, I told him that my cat stole my thumb drive. I honestly didn’t think he’d believe me and would be mad that I came up with such a ridiculous excuse, thankfully he said “It’s ok. I believe everything once.” Phew! I breathed a huge sigh of relief, extremely thankful for that unexpected pardon! Then, something even more miraculous happened! The principal made an announcement over the PA system asking me to come to the office. When I got there, what should I find but my thumb drive waiting for me there on the desk! Hallelujah! I walked back to the classroom, happily told the teacher the news, printed off my assignment and handed it in on time! Yay!

When I got home that day, I asked mom where she had found it and she said that Prince Ozzy had accidentally slid it underneath the pantry. I was very thankful that she found it and managed to get it to me on time to pass in the assignment! From then on, I was much more careful with my thumb drive.

Leah

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Throwback Thanks


Hey blog world! I am a Mythical Beast! No, I’m not a unicorn, a centaur or a mermaid, I am a superfan of the YouTubers Rhett and Link and their show “Good Mythical Morning”. Mythical Beasts are what they call their fans! I have been watching their show every day for the past several years (click here, here and here to check out some of my favorite episodes!) and think they are very creative and very funny!

I received their book, “Rhett & Link’s Book Of Mythicality” for my 20th Birthday last November and I have been really enjoying it! It’s funny and also has lots of interesting stories from behind the scenes of GMM and from Rhett and Link’s lives before YouTube. This morning, I was sitting on my back patio enjoying a cup of tea and reading the book and I came to the chapter “Give Throwback Thanks”. In that chapter, they talked about how their first grade teacher Mrs. Lenora Locklear made a huge difference in their lives and sparked their friendship. On the first day of first grade they had written profanities on their desks (the offending words were “Hell” (Rhett) and “Damn” (Link)) and she gave them detention. They spent recess inside coloring pictures of unicorns and they became friends. In 2008, they decided to find her and thank her for all that she had done and they filmed a documentary of their journey, aptly titled “Looking For Mrs. Locklear”. At the end of the chapter, they challenged their readers to turn the #TBT (Throwback Thursday) hashtag on its head and instead of throwing back to some old photo of yourself to remind your friends how cute you used to look, give throwback thanks to someone (or something) that did something for you in the past you never had a chance to thank them for. Sure, today isn’t Thursday, but I love the Throwback Thanks idea so I’m doing it anyway! Here are a few of my own little throwback thanks!

Matthew McCarthy: Thank you for inviting me to come watch you bowl that fateful night in 2010! I had so much fun watching you and all the others that I decided to join your Special Olympics team. Special Olympics gave me the best 7 years of my life, I made so many new friends, had lots of exciting adventures, learned to play new sports (and became a much better bowler than I was before I started!) and even won a few medals. I cannot thank you enough Matthew for introducing me to Special O!

Peter MacDonald Productions: Thank you for performing “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” at the Arts and Culture Center in 2006. I was 9 years old that year and my mom and I took in one of the performances of the show. It was the first (and certainly wouldn’t be the last!) musical I ever saw live and it changed my life! It ignited a passion for… no, an obsession with musical theater that still burns to this day! I sing show tunes pretty much every day, I have Broadway posters in my room (Joseph is of course one of those posters!), I had a Broadway cake for my 17th Birthday, Broadway cake I’ve got an extensive collection of playbills from shows I’ve seen! Aside from my obsession with watching Broadway musicals on stage and screen, it also inspired me to want to try acting! I have since acted in several small productions. Some of my favorite roles include Sarah in “The Polar Express” (Frank Roberts Jr. High Drama Club), Auntie Em in “Wizard of OZ” (Musically Inclined musical theatre group) and Morticia Adams in an original scene written by Patricia Andrews based on “The Adams Family” (Camp Hollywood)

The slide on the playground at St. George’s Elementary: Thank you for being the meeting place for the book club I started at Camp Kaleidoscope during the summer of 2005. Lots of stories were shared, friendships forged and memories made. Me and the other two book club members, my new friends Anna and Sam couldn’t wait to meet up underneath you every day and read books to each other. I still hang out with Sam and we always have a lot of fun together. We still fondly remember that summer and the integral part you played in the beginning of our friendship.

Lucy Halley: Thank you for listening. You were the sweetest little puppy and the best gal pal. I looked forward to coming to see you every Saturday afternoon! I loved how you would run to meet me at the door and then jump into my lap as soon as I sat down on the couch. I’d pet you and tell you all about my week while I waited for your dad (Peter Halley) to start my music lesson (just to quickly clarify, Peter is a human! I think of all male pet owners as dads and all female pet owners as moms. As amazing as it would be, a dog is not teaching me music!) Talking to you about any bad stuff that happened during the week always helped me feel better and sharing the good things with you made me smile. I miss our weekly chats. Heck, I miss everything about you! Love you forever sweet girl, we’ll meet again someday.

Starbursts candy: Thank you for being there for me when I was out of gum on my flight home from Quebec in 2012! I’m very lucky that I had you in my carry on. You made takeoff and landing a lot easier on my ears and saved me a lot of pain!

Starbucks Kenmount Road: Thank you for providing me with a relaxing space to study last year as I worked towards completing my second year of CONA’s ECE program via distance education. Thank you also for having functional Wifi!!!!! Without you, I literally would not have gotten any work done on Thursday mornings (I had my sole on campus class on Thursday mornings at 11:30, but mom had to be at work for 8:00, so I’d come into town with her on Thursday’s and spend the morning at Starbucks completing assignments and studying. I would have gone right to CONA to save mom an extra trip, but CONA’s wifi was always on the fritz, one minute I’d be connected and then then next I’d be booted off, it was impossible to get anything done!)

Is there anyone (or anything) in your life you never had the chance to thank for something? Share your throwback thanks in the comments below!

Leah

Mothers Day at Spirit 2018


Hey blog world! Happy mother’s day to all the mothers out there including, but not limited to, single mothers, step mothers, foster and adoptive mothers, pregnant mothers, mothers of furry, four legged children, mothers of angels, mothers who are angels, etc. All mothers deserve to be celebrated today because they are very, very special and important! I celebrated mine today by taking her out to lunch. Spirit of Newfoundland had a special mother’s day brunch this afternoon. It was absolutely wonderful!

When we arrived, we were greeted by the general manager of Spirit, Paul Bugge. He offered every guest a complimentary glass of prosecco and a rose. We had the choice between pink and white, mom and I both chose a pink one to match what we were wearing.

Brunch was a little bit different than most meals at Spirit. The appetizer and desert were a buffet and we selected our main course from a menu. The appetizer buffet had lots of food to choose from! There was fresh fruit, several different kinds of salads, soups and all kinds of bagels, breads and croissants!

I was most excited to see chef Alex’s pasta salad on the buffet table! I must have his recipe! It is the best pasta salad ever! It’s so creamy, cheesy and delicious! I also was happy to see his cream of roasted red pepper and tomato soup. I never did like tomato soup, until I tried chef Alex’s recipe a few months ago at the Valentines day show. That was delicious then, and it was again today! It’s very rich, pleasantly tangy, all around fantastic!

Soon after we got our food and sat at our table, our waiter, the lovely and talented Ian Carroll, came over to take our order for the main course. Ian was very friendly and served us with a smile, that’s a quality I love seeing in waiters.

For our main courses, I had chicken marsala and mom had poached cod. We both really enjoyed our meals. My chicken was very tender and juicy and the cream sauce that was served over it was very nice! The vegetables were very good as well. It came with carrots, broccoli and mashed potato.

As I ate, I tried the prosecco. I’m not a fan of wine, but mom said I might like this one, so I gave it a go. It wasn’t the best thing I’d ever had to drink, but it wasn’t the worst either. It was sour. At first, it wasn’t too bad, it was sort of nice. I could handle the little bit of tartness. As I kept drinking it, it got more and more sour, eventually I could no longer handle it. Mom told me to add some 7-up to it, so I went to the bar and told the bartender to do just that. It really helped. It was not near as sour as it was. I liked how the two drinks tasted together.

Shortly after we ate, the show began. The entertainment this afternoon was the dynamic duo of Peter Halley and Shelley Neville. They opened the show with a song by Simon and Garfunkel. The song they sang was one of my favorite of their songs, “Feelin’ Groovy”. What a great way to start the show! It was a lot of fun and it made my heart feel happy!

After that song, they took audience requests. I put up my hand to ask for something. They called on me and I asked them to play anything by Neil Diamond, as he is mom’s favorite. They chose his duet with Barbara Streissand, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”. They did a lovely job with that song. Mom and I both really enjoyed hearing it.

Another audience request was sung by Peter. His brother in law asked to hear “What A Wonderful World”. Peter has such a smooth, velvety, calming voice. When he sang that song, my heart felt very happy and peaceful.

Soon, desert was brought out, again it was a buffet. There were so many yummy things! I had a chocolate chip cookie, a snowball and a piece of screech cake with screech caramel sauce. The cookie was crispy around the outside and soft and chewy on the inside! Yum! What was even better was that some of the caramel sauce from my screech cake ran off the cake and got onto the cookie. They paired so nicely together! It added to the deliciousness of the cookie! The snowball was really nice too, and the screech cake, as always was absolutely delicious!

A lot more audience members began making requests after desert. One audience member asked to hear “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler. I’m glad I wasn’t wearing makeup today because I cried quite a bit during this number! There were two reasons, one, I was so moved by Shelley’s breathtaking performance of the song, two, it brought back a very bittersweet memory. It reminded me of the children at the daycare where I used to work. During nap time, we would put on music for the children. We had several CD’s in rotation, Nora Jones, Spirit of Newfoundland and a mixtape of miscellaneous, slow, calming music. “Wind Beneath My Wings” was on that mixtape. As Shelley sang, I could see myself in the toddler room, sitting at the side of a child’s bed and stroking their hair until they’ve fallen asleep.

Speaking of young children, we were treated to an absolutely adorable performance by an equally as adorable little girl and her brother! The little girl, her brother and their mommy approached the stage and the girl asked Peter if she could come up and sing “You Are My Sunshine”, which of course he said yes to! She had such a nice voice and did a fantastic job! After she finished, her brother said “My turn!” and went up onstage to sing. He also did “You Are My Sunshine” and he too did excellent!

Near the end of the show, they sang “Those Were The Days”, the “All In The Family” theme song! It cracks me up laughing every time I hear them do this song! They are a perfect Archie and Edith!

Also towards the end, they did a medley of world war 1 era songs “Pack Up Your Troubles”, “K-K-K Katy” and “It’s A Long Way To Tipperary”. I had a lot of fun clapping and singing along! Then, they sang “Till We Meet Again”, one of my favorite love songs. I’ve heard many people sing that song, but Shelley is the best I’ve heard. It sounds so pretty when she sings it!

One of the last songs they sang this afternoon (another audience request) was my favorite song to hear Peter and Shelley perform, “All I Ask Of You” from “Phantom of the Opera”. Though I love hearing this song, and they did, as usual, a mesmerizing performance of it, it was another very bittersweet moment. It too reminded me of the children at daycare. I would sing that song to them quite often. If one of the children was feeling sad for whatever reason, they’d gotten hurt, they missed their mommy/daddy, etc. I would pick them up, wipe their tears away and sing that song to them.

After the show, mom and I talked to Peter and Shelley for a little bit and got pictures taken with them as well!

Peter, Mom and Me

 

Mom, Shelley and Me

Mom and I had an absolutely wonderful afternoon at Spirit of Newfoundland, thank you Peter and Shelley for putting off such an amazing show, thank you to Chef Alex for preparing such a delicious meal and thank you to Liam, Ian, Renée and all the other staff working today for all the hard work you did to make sure we had an enjoyable afternoon, everything from setting the tables to refilling the buffet. You are all awesome and I can’t wait to come back to work with you soon!

Leah

Josh and The Big Wall


Hey blog world! Do you like to talk to tomatoes? Can a squash make you smile? Do you like to waltz with potatoes up and down the produce aisle? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, then this blog post is for you!

Ever since I was a little girl I loved VeggieTales! I still do! You are never too old to laugh and learn with Bob the tomato, Larry the cucumber and all the others! I was in the mood for a movie night tonight and thought I’d turn on one of my VeggieTales movies. Looking through my collection, I found one in my box set of classic VeggieTales episodes that I haven’t seen since I was a little girl. “Josh and the Big Wall” from 1997 (the year I was born!). Since it’s been forever since I last saw the movie I thought I’d review it!

The opening counter top scene isn’t the best. Larry and Bob always open the show together, but this time Larry wasn’t there with Bob. He was so tired from filming the previous episode, “LarryBoy and the Fib From Outer Space” that Bob let him sleep in. Junior Asparagus was in his place. Larry always makes things interesting. Whether he’s driving his Suzy Action Jeep around the countertop, dressing as LarryBoy or going around with an oven mitt on his head, he’s always doing something that makes me laugh. It was kind of bland with Bob and Junior. They just read a viewer letter and moved on to the story. Nothing really funny or interesting happened.

Things picked up when the main story started. Bob and Junior used their imaginations to go to Egypt to learn the story of Joshua. Before Josh’s time, the Israelites were held captives in Egypt, then through Moses, God liberated them from slavery and tried to lead them to the promised land. I say tried because though he gave them directions, they did not follow through with them. Because of that, they were sentenced to be banished to exile for 40 years. Once the time had come to go to the Promised Land again, Moses had died so Josh became the new leader. He tries to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, but the city of Jericho is in the way. The episode stayed true to the Bible story, but this being a show designed to not only educate but also entertain children and their grownups, they took a few creative liberties! I am a huge fan of Monty Python and apparently so are Phil Vischer and Mike Narwocki (the creators of VeggieTales)! The citizens of Jericho were a bunch of French taunters just like in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”!! They were green peas with French accents who looked at the Israelites over the walls of Jericho and laughed at and taunted them saying they are foolish and will not be able to knock down their walls just by walking. To add injury to insult, the peas throw slushies at them to prevent them from getting all the way around the city!

There are a lot of great musical numbers in this episode. The French taunting peas sing a really catchy song called “Keep Walking” in which they further insult the Israelites!

Keep walking, but you won’t knock down our wall. Keep walking, but she isn’t gonna fall! It’s plain to see your brains are very small to think walking will be knocking down our wall!

Promised Land” makes me hungry! LOL! It’s a song all about food! After years of eating nothing but manna the Israelites were thrilled to be going to the Promised Land where there would be better food! They sing about filling their plates up with all kinds of food like tacos, waffles and pintos and cheese. As they sing, they dance on top of a three tier, pink frosted Birthday cake! Everything about this song makes me want to head toward the fridge!! I also find it really funny that talking vegetables are singing about eating food!

Repeated several times throughout the episode is a short little ditty that first is sung by Junior to remind Josh and his friends to follow through with God’s plan, then later Josh sings it to his friends to remind them not to give up. It goes like this.

The Lord has given this land to us, no need to fuss, he knows what he’s doing. We know that he will take care of us if we will follow him

I think everyone should keep that in mind. God’s way is the best way! Follow his directions even if they seem a little odd, he knows what he’s doing!

Of course, this wouldn’t be a VeggieTales episode without a silly song! For those of you unfamiliar with VeggieTales, at the halfway point of every episode, Larry (or on occasion one of the other Veggies such as Bob, Archibald or Mr. Lunt) will perform a silly song that has nothing to do with the main episode, it’s just for entertainment purpose. This time, we find Larry about to present a one night only, stereophonic, multi-media event called “The Song of the Cebu“. He gives the performance using a slide projector, a bed sheet and pictures that he drew, which I thought was very creative! It’s a catchy little song with a captivating story! A little boy goes for a canoe ride with his three pet cebu’s (a fictional animal that looks similar to a cow) as they go on their journey, a hippo appears in the water. The boy can’t see the hippo, the hippo can’t see the canoe and the boy starts rowing right towards the hippo. We never do get to find out how it ends though as Larry’s equipment malfunctions! To this day I still wonder what became of the boy, his cebu’s and the hippo?

In the final counter top scene, Bob sums up the story and the lesson to be learned from it, listen to God and follow his directions. Then we have another song! A short little tune that QWERTY the computer sings in every episode before revealing that episode’s Bible verse

And so what we have learned applies to our lives today, God has a lot to say in his book. We know that God’s word is for everyone, now that our song is done we’ll take a look!

I think it’s cute and catchy, Bob finds it super annoying! I always get a laugh at how he screws up his face, gives an annoyed sigh and tries everything he can to get away from hearing the song!

The verse used in this episode is 2 Samuel 22:31a “As for God, his way is perfect”. It most certainly is!

To end the counter top scene, Bob and Junior say their goodbyes and exit. We then see Larry, who is in his PJ’s and awake from his nap hop onto the counter top thinking it’s time for the show to begin. Unfortunately for him, the lights completely black out! Too bad. Shame he slept through the counter top scenes of the episode, he could have brought so much more to them!

Despite the bland counter top scenes, I really enjoyed “Josh and the Big Wall” and give this VeggieTales episode a 6/10. I’ll end this review the same way that Bob and Larry end every episode of VeggieTales, by reminding you all that God made you special and he loves you very much!

Leah

 

International Flavors 


Hey blog world! I had the most wonderful afternoon today! I went out for lunch with one of my best friends, Peter Halley!

We went to International Flavors, a Pakistani restaurant located at 4 Quidi Vidi Road in Downtown St. John’s. I’d been there a few times with Peter back in 2016 and have been having cravings for their food ever since we last went! Seeing as I had some errands to run in town today, I thought that posed the perfect opportunity to ask Peter to lunch. I was delighted when he said yes!

When we got there, the second I walked through the door the most glorious smell hit my nose! All the aromatic spices paired with the chicken cooking created a delicious smell! I couldn’t wait to eat!

The owner of the restaurant, Talat, was very friendly. She had a big smile on her face when we came in  and was very welcoming. She talks to you like you’re an old friend and really makes you feel at home.

The food is absolutely amazing! I had the chicken curry. It’s served on a bed of basmati rice and it also comes with chickpeas, fresh vegetables, lentils, Indian pickle and a touch of yogurt. The chicken is so tender and juicy! The spices added lots of extra flavor to it and made it taste even more amazing! The chickpeas, rice and lentils were delicious as well. All the recipes are Talat’s own. That’s something I really love, home-cooked food made with local ingredients. Good food that’s good for you! I must warn you, if you cannot handle spicy food this is not the restaurant for you! It is very spicy!!

I ordered a large and it truly was large! I couldn’t eat all of it so I brought what was left home in a takeout container. I enjoyed more of it for supper and still couldn’t eat it all! I look forward to finishing it for lunch tomorrow!

Peter was cast as Nathan Detroit in Atlantic Light Theatre’s upcoming production of “Guys And Dolls” (click here for ticket info) and as we ate, I helped Peter run lines! I got to be Adelaide, some of Nathan’s gambler friends and the owner of the club where Nathan is hoping to set up his crap game. I had a lot of fun playing all the different characters!

I also really enjoyed chatting with Peter. We hadn’t seen each other since last year so we both had a lot to tell each other. We talked about Christmas, school, our families and everything else under the sun! I loved it.

At the end of our meal, Peter paid for both of us. I thought that was so nice of him! I wasn’t expecting that at all, especially since I was the one who invited him to lunch!! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, he has a heart that’s three sizes too big!

I really enjoyed spending time with Peter today running lines, talking and having lunch at International Flavors! I give this restaurant a 10/10. Next time you find yourself downtown you must eat here!

Leah 

2018 Goals


Hey blog world! Happy New Year! There are a lot of things I’m hoping to accomplish this year! I’ve set a list of goals for myself!

Cook more: Suppers at home on weeknights usually consist of french fries and something else equally unhealthy like pizza pops, hot dogs, nuggets, etc. Our evenings are so full and rushed there isn’t much time to cook a healthy meal! This year, now that I’m a full-time distance student and will be spending most of the day at home on weekdays, I’d like to get back in the kitchen and make supper for my family. Home cooked, healthy meals that don’t come out of a can or a cardboard box!

Get my license: This is something I’ve been putting off way too long!!! I’m 20 and I have yet to get behind the wheel of a car! Reason being, I’m firetrucking terrified!!! I’m afraid that I’ll die or some innocent motorist or pedestrian will die at my hands if I get behind the wheel. This year, I’m going to try to get over that fear. As soon as my semester of ECE courses ends in April, I’m going to go to Young Drivers of Canada to try for my permit!! This WILL be the year I drive a car!

Get organized: My room is a disaster zone! I’ve lost sight of the floor! I’m going to devote some serious time to conquering my mess and making things presentable again. Once I have done that, I will try hard to keep it that way! I’m going to do some decluttering too and get rid of clothes and other things I don’t need.

Learn at least 3 children’s songs on piano: Last year, I got back into playing the piano. I’m taking lessons from Peter Halley! I’ve got about a dozen or so songs in my repertoire now, some ABBA songs, “Green Fields of France”, a couple of Beatles tunes, a Marty Robbins ballad. I love all the songs I’ve learned, but I doubt a two year old would enjoy hearing a song about Marty Robbins shooting and killing a stranger over the love of a woman! I’m studying to be an ECE and in case I ever come across a classroom with a piano, I’d like to have a few children’s songs memorized and perfected (or at least somewhat perfect) to play for the children.

Save money: Going on a cruise is on my bucket list. It is however not on the list of things I can afford to do at this moment! When I graduate from college, whenever that may be (I’m estimating 2020) I’d like to celebrate by going on a cruise with mom. I’m going to try to cut back on the spending this year and save what I can so that I will be able to sail the high seas with Universal Travel on the Downhome Rant N Roar cruise!

What are your goals for 2018? Tell me in the comments!

Leah

Spirit Christmas Luncheon 2017


Hey blog world! Sorry for the super long delay in postings! I am not dead yet! I’ve just been super busy playing with toddlers, studying for exams and completing mountains of assignments! For those of you who are new to this blog, I am an Early Childhood Education student at College of the North Atlantic! Now that exams are over and my field placement term is done, I’m super happy to be on Christmas break and not have to worry about due dates or studying!

To officially kick off my first day of Christmas break, I had a girls day with one of my best friends, Kristen! We went to Spirit of Newfoundland to see their Christmas luncheon, something I look forward to every year! It’s truly one of my favorite parts of Christmas!

Our afternoon started with drinks at the bar. I had a cranberry mocktail (6 fl oz of cranberry juice and 2 fl oz of tonic water). One of my favorite drinks to have when I feel like being fancy. After all the hard work I’ve done over the past semester I felt like I needed one!

Soon, the doors opened and we went inside. We set our drinks down and went to look at the appetizers set out on the table. Spirit usually has a set three-course meal, but for their luncheons, the appetizer and dessert are buffets. Only the main course has a menu. For my appetizer I had some of Chef Alex’s pasta salad, some of Spirit’s homemade sourdough bread and a salad I put together myself at the salad bar.

Chef Alex’s pasta salad is to die for! It was the first thing I looked for when I went to the buffet table! As weird as this sounds, it’s something I look forward to every year! It’s so cheesy and creamy and delicious! The sourdough bread is really nice too, as is the homemade whipped butter that it comes with!

For the main course, we could choose from cod au gratin or turkey. Now, I don’t like cod au gratin very much, but I absolutely detest turkey, always have! So, I went with the lesser of two evils, the cod au gratin. I gave it a try, just to see if maybe I’ll like it the way Alex makes it. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever eaten. That being said, I mean no disrespect to Alex, I’m sure there were many in the audience who did enjoy it!

Something I absolutely loved about the meal was the mashed potato! Alex, please teach me your ways!!! Oh my firetrucking God! It was like I was eating a cloud! It was so fluffy and buttery and perfect! The carrot and broccoli were really good too.

Kristen had the turkey and really enjoyed that. She said that the gravy over it was the best! She also thought the mashed potatoes were absolutely amazing and enjoyed the vegetables.

After we ate, the show began! Today’s performers were Frank Fusari on the bass, Bill Brennan on piano, Boomer Stamp on drums and Peter Halley and Shelley Neville were the vocalists. A stellar lineup if you ask me!

Peter and Shelley opened the show with my all time favorite Christmas song, “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer”. Rudolph is my little kindred spirit. Both of us were born a little different from the others and were bullied because of it. I always get so emotional during this song, especially at the end when all the reindeer accept him for who he is and he gets to lead Santa’s sleigh!

After that song, they took some audience requests. That’s one thing I really like about this show, they sing what the audience wants to hear! Someone asked for “Mele Kalikimaka” and so they sang it! That song is a lot of fun! They did an excellent job! Someone else in the audience requested “Snoopy’s Christmas”! They did a really good job on that one as well.

Peter and Shelley also sang a few of their favorites. I loved it when they sang “I’ll Be There Christmas Eve”! They always do a beautiful job of that song! It was so lovely that I almost cried!

When they sang “Silver Bells” they split the audience up into two halves. Kristen and I were on Shelley’s side of the stage. We were her echo! There were a lot of really nice voices on our side. Peter’s side of the room wasn’t too bad either!

A little while later, desert was brought out! They had so many delicious things! There were chocolate and peanut butter squares, chocolate chip cookies, pieces of screech cake and my favorite Christmas cookie, snowballs!!! Yum! I had a little bit of everything and it was all delicious!

After singing a few more songs, Peter asked me and Kristen to come up and sing one! He asked us to do “The Mummers Song”! We were honored! Kristen was especially excited! This was her first time ever performing on Spirit’s stage! We had so much fun performing with the band and I think we all sounded awesome!

There was a lot more audience participation after us! Peter asked the audience if anyone else wanted to come up and sing and a man volunteered. He said that there were extra words to Rudolph that Peter had missed. He was confused and so was I. I didn’t recall there ever being any extra words to the song. Then, when the man sang it, I laughed! I did remember those words! It’d been so long since I heard Rudolph sung like that (the last time I remember singing it that way was in elementary school) that I forgot that those extra words existed! Click here to listen to Rudolph complete with the extra add ins.

A 90 year old woman was in the audience, though she didn’t look at all 90! I couldn’t believe it! She got up on stage and danced as Peter and Shelley sang “Christmas In Kilarney”. She was amazing! So full of life and energy! I hope to be just like her when I’m 90!

At the end of the show, I got to give out presents! That’s one of my favorite things about the Christmas season, making homemade gifts for my friends and seeing the big smiles on their faces when they receive them! I had something special for both Peter and Shelley! It made me so happy to see the big smiles on their faces when I gave them their gifts! They are always so good to me, they deserved a special Christmas gift. I can’t wait to hear what they think of their presents when they open them!

Kristen and I also got pictures with Peter!!

Peter and I

After we had talked to and gotten a picture with him, we thought it was time to leave, but dad was still a half hour away. Peter suggested that Kristen and I sit in the bar and I do up my Christmas shopping list (I’m usually done before now, but because of school I’ve had literally zero time! I still had a few left to shop for!) so that’s exactly what I did. Kristen and I sat down together and brainstormed ideas for what to get those who are left on my list (my 12-year-old niece, my mom and my friend Dorothy, a lovely woman who is 85 years young. She and I go to open mics in CBS together all the time.)

Soon, dad came to pick us up, but our girls day out wasn’t over yet! We stopped by Mochanopoly and Shoppers to do some Christmas shopping! I didn’t find something for everyone I have left, but at least I got a few things.

I had a wonderful afternoon out with Kristen today! As always, the luncheon was absolutely spectacular! Today was the last day for the lunch, but if you are looking for some Christmas entertainment, their nighttime show is equally as spectacular! “The Best Little Newfoundland Christmas Pageant Ever is taking a short Christmas break, but will be back December 27th – 31st and January 2nd – 5th. For more information or to make a reservation, call 579-3023 or email reservations@spiritofnewfoundland.com

Leah